Guest Blogger Olivia Ramos of Mental Rhythms

 

Really excited to bring Ms. Olivia Ramos of Mental Rhythms to a computer screen/mobile device near you! Her idea is fascinating and I believe the app she's created will get BIG. Frankly, I can't wait to use it myself!  You heard it here first, ladies and gents!  -Laura

 

Life was so unmanageable that I began to map it.

My name is Olivia and I am the cartographer behind Mental Rhythms.

I was powerless over the self-imposed distortions and complexities in all aspects of my life and mapping my feelings towards it all became a necessary tool. Back then, before recovery, I had ongoing maps of my relationships, my businesses, and even my conspiracy theories. At times, reviewing the maps helped me understand why I was feeling so insane and how I had a part in my own state of discontent.

 

Toxic behavior: mapped.

In one map, for example, I graphed my feelings towards ten relationships over a period of seven months. At some point all the relationship trajectories began to show negative slopes. When I reviewed the map, it became obvious that everyone in my life was not wrong at the same time and my behavior was toxic in general. At the time, during my bottom, I did not understand exactly what was wrong.

When I got sober I began to map the correlations between my desire to use and the willingness to work my 12-step program. It became obvious that whenever I kept a steady practice of prayer and meditation, I was also less angry and had much lower levels of anxiety, and most importantly little desire to use. The visualization of my recent past proved informative and encouraging towards working the program.

In the rooms I kept hearing people’s relapse stories and how they never saw it coming. Only in hindsight did they realize they stopped working the program, became spiritually bankrupt, angry and resentful, and picked up. I set out to develop a phone application that would allow users to map their emotional trajectories as I had been doing. Mental Rhythms App will be available this August.

The Mental Rhythms App at work.

I have to let go and simply be present.
— Olivia Ramos, Mental Rhythms Cartographer

This past May I began to test the App using my daily inventory. Asking myself if I was Fearful (red), Dishonest (purple), Selfish (yellow), and Resentful (blue), and how I would rate these on a scale from 0-9. The App reminds me to rate my inventory and depending on my day, these components of my character have different values. After two weeks I thought my trajectory was stabilizing, after two months and I realized I was consistently all over the place.

Pretty nifty: the author's inventory, mapped.  

I sent pictures of the map to my sponsor, completely alarmed at what seemed like instability. He told me to be a witness of the map instead of expecting anything from it. I loved this, because I cannot control my character defects just like I couldn’t control my using. These maps are an interface between my progress and my consciousness of the same. Not too unlike meditation, in which I am aware of my thoughts without trying to engage in them.  I have to let go and simply be present.


Olivia Ramos is a cartographer of resources within the realms of (1) urban infrastructure, (2) data architecture, and (3) spiritualism. With a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University and a Masters in Real Estate Development & Urbanism from the University of Miami, Olivia explores resilient solutions for the built environment.